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StarHub’s EPL package sign-up: Customers confused over early-bird prices, annoyed by long online queues

SINGAPORE — Having anticipated the launch of StarHub's new English Premier League (EPL) subscription package, Mr Steven Chuan, 42, took the day off from work on Thursday (June 9) to go to a StarHub store at Plaza Singapura mall. He wanted to sign up for it in person ahead of the weekend crowd.

StarHub’s EPL package sign-up: Customers confused over early-bird prices, annoyed by long online queues
A scene at a StarHub store.
  • Scores of customers faced problems subscribing to StarHub's new EPL package on the first day of its launch
  • StarHub said on Facebook that it is taking longer than expected to serve customers due to an overwhelming response
  • It assured the public that anyone who visits both its online and physical stores by June 19 will be able to enjoy the early-bird offers

SINGAPORE — Having anticipated the launch of StarHub's new English Premier League (EPL) subscription package, Mr Steven Chuan, 42, took the day off from work on Thursday (June 9) to go to a StarHub store at Plaza Singapura mall. He wanted to sign up for it in person ahead of the weekend crowd.

The information technology manager, who is an avid fan of Manchester United football club, was told instead that he was not able to do so because the online system was “corrupted” due to the high volume of sign-ups.

Mr Chuan was among scores of customers who had problems subscribing to the telecommunication company’s new EPL package on the first day of its launch.

StarHub, also a pay-television provider, had secured broadcasting rights earlier this year to the league that is popular among Singapore football fans. The contract is for the next six years, breaking a 12-year hold by industry rival Singtel.

On Thursday afternoon, StarHub put up a post on Facebook to say that it is taking longer than expected to serve customers due to an overwhelming response and apologised for the inconvenience caused.

It also assured its customers that anyone who visits both its online and physical stores by June 19 will be able to get the early-bird offers.

“We thank our customers for their patience and continued support,” it added.

Mr Chuan said that he had earlier contacted the telco’s customer service line via WhatsApp to ask if a subscription can be done at its store and was told that he could do so.

At the store, when the system could not take in any more subscriptions, a sales assistant took down his name and contact number, and then said that a representative will contact him within three days, he added.

Many people commented online that their attempts to subscribe to the packages via the StarHub website were met with long queues, with some saying that they could not get through the payment process after being in the queue for hours.

One Facebook user said that he waited from 10am to 3pm to get through the online queue, while another said that he waited for four hours. 

Others brought up the point that there was some confusion about the prices that were reflected on both the website and StarHub mobile application, which cost more than the early-bird prices.

Several users, who said that they were StarHub subscribers, found that when they tried to subscribe to the EPL package on the website or the app, the price listed was S$39.99.

The early-bird prices were S$19.99 for existing StarHub subscribers and S$34.99 for non-subscribers, which apply for its over-the-top media services that are offered directly via the internet.

These prices would be made available for the first 25,000 subscribers who sign up between Thursday and June 30, the company said earlier.

In response to TODAY's queries, StarHub said: "We are aware that some customers may have encountered an error during the sign-up process, resulting in an incorrect display of prices. This is temporary and we are resolving it quickly."

It also assured the public that all eligible customers who sign up for its EPL package will be able to enjoy the early-bird offers.

Customers who sign up for this package will only be billed when the season starts in August, it added.

The day before, StarHub said that as part of its EPL launch, it will roll out “immersive market-first” features progressively until the first quarter of next year, including Party Watch, which allows users to virtually invite friends to watch and chat about the game in real time, to have split-screen viewing and to access performance statistics during games.

Timed with the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy 2022 featuring English football clubs Liverpool and Crystal Palace, StarHub customers will get an early look at some of these features with the premier channels going live on July 15, the telco said.

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